Suicide effects

Suicide affects all people. Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts. 

Unfortunately, our society often paints suicide the way they would a prison sentence—a permanent situation that brands an individual. However, suicidal ideation is not a brand or a label, it is a sign that an individual is suffering deeply and must seek treatment. And it is falsehoods like these that can prevent people from getting the help they need to get better.

Debunking the common myths associated with suicide can help society realize the importance of helping others seek treatment and show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges. 

Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.

Fact: Many individuals with mental illness are not affected by suicidal thoughts and not all people who attempt or die by suicide have mental illness. Relationship problems and other life stressors such as criminal/legal matters, persecution, eviction/loss of home, death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, and recent or impending crises are also associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Fact: Active suicidal ideation is often short-term and situation-specific. Studies have shown that approximately 54% of individuals who have died by suicide did not have a diagnosable mental health disorder. And for those with mental illness, the proper treatment can help to reduce symptoms. 

The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts an individual is experiencing. Once these thoughts dissipate, so will the suicidal ideation. While suicidal thoughts can return, they are not permanent. An individual with suicidal thoughts and attempts can live a long, successful life. 

Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Fact: Warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide. Many individuals who are suicidal may only show warning signs to those closest to them. These loved ones may not recognize what’s going on, which is how it may seem like the suicide was sudden or without warning.

Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.

Fact: Typically, people do not die by suicide because they do not want to live—people die by suicide because they want to end their suffering. These individuals are suffering so deeply that they feel helpless and hopeless. Individuals who experience suicidal ideations do not do so by choice. They are not simply, “thinking of themselves,” but rather they are going through a very serious mental health symptom due to either mental illness or a difficult life situation.   

Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Fact: There is a widespread stigma associated with suicide and as a result, many people are afraid to speak about it. Talking about suicide not only reduces the stigma, but also allows individuals to seek help, rethink their opinions and share their story with others. We all need to talk more about suicide. 

Debunking these common myths about suicide can hopefully allow individuals to look at suicide from a different angle—one of understanding and compassion for an individual who is internally struggling. Maybe they are struggling with a mental illness or maybe they are under extreme pressure and do not have healthy coping skills or a strong support system. 

As a society, we should not be afraid to speak up about suicide, to speak up about mental illness or to seek out treatment for an individual who is in need. Eliminating the stigma starts by understanding why suicide occurs and advocating for mental health awareness within our communities. There are suicide hotlines, mental health support groups, online community resources and many mental health professionals who can help any individual who is struggling with unhealthy thoughts and emotions. 

the morality

Morals are the right thing to do in a given situation or principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, sometimes including or excluding if it’s illegal or not.

But there is always a conflict between the right thing and morally right thing to do. Let’s say someone’s family is extremely poor and the mother is very sick. The pharmacy has the exact medicine that could cure the mother but it is very expensive. What would the son do knowing it was right there but he couldn’t reach it? Would he break into the pharmacy? But that’s illegal but for him it’s also the right thing to do at that moment.

Of course some might say, he could be getting help from friends, going to the doctors, getting a loan and a job etc. the usual righteous heads, but that is the ambiguity of helplessness. One living in a peaceful place will easily  suggest the one living in Syria to improve their situation by talking to the government and rebel groups, talk and find a solution etc. etc. but that is and always had been the fight between practicality and idealism. Conviction is for those on the sidelines, and everyone has plans until getting punched in the face are the famous sayings which depict these situations, while there is always  what most would consider a right way out but only one in million has the ability to find and  go that path. Rest are just the common people.

There are various types of moral practices. One can practice utilitarianism where doing “what’s right” should help everyone in the long run. It has some downsides because sometimes, even if it benefits everyone, it’s not always the most moral thing to do  .

There’s also Kantianism aka deontology, where instead of considering everyone, one considers his duties to society. one does not think about the end goal or consequences, just do the duty as told by laws or what parents taught or universal duties. But even this is not the idealistic model.

Anything is wrong or imperfect to somebody. 

And that is why there is conflict between moral sets. With a deeper look in too ourselves we can see that we as human Beings are highly individualistic but also deeply social organisms.We have individualistic as well as societal interests that drive us in our decision making and choices and hence in our moral code.

Individuals aspire to fulfill personal needs and desires while societal interests are directed towards predictability in the group and enhance safety and growth and development of the group. Perceived societal interests are expressed/implied in the form of moral code because conflicts between morals can lead to unpredictability in human behaviour and cause physical or psychological harm and may not always benefit in the long run. Common morality prevents people to a certain extent from violating the societal code thereby ensuring peace and preventing chaos.

Therefore, whenever an individual or a set of individuals break the moral code, society tends to stigmatise them or outcast them as a form of punishment and also to deter further violations.

However, since moral codes are very abstract in nature and are just perceptions in their true nature, individuals with enough power or majority of individuals happen to redefine morals from time to time.

Since morals have been accepted as basic to co-living, they are deeply embedded in mind. When we find ourselves violating the moral code, we tend to feel guilty and unhappy with our actions.

Moral codes are not found only in human societies but in almost all animals which live in groups are found to be practicing moral codes. So in the end we can only say that the more we study morality, the more we encounter ambiguity.